BUSHLAND, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Bushland High School students have been nationally recognized for their participation in a program that aims to better the community.

“I have the best job in the world because I get to work with all these wonderful youth that care so much about their community and they want to give back,” said Michelle Lancaster, Bushland High School Family and Community Service Teacher.

So what exactly is Lead4Change?

“It is community-service based. The students learn how to act, serve, and make things happen. It teaches students how to be their best self. It helps identify their qualities and characteristics and things that they possess that they could help other people out with,” said Lancaster.

For the second year in a row, Bushland High school was nationally recognized as a certified Lead4Change school for their continued participation in the program, which sets out to put together projects that helps better the community.

“Feels good to help people in need. It’s fun working with your classmates to go do nice things to people,” said Andrew Soria, Bushland High School Senior.

“Feels good to help people in need.”

Andrew Soria

“Part of the program is also anticipating hurdles and overcoming obstacles, and this year we’ve had a lot of obstacles to overcome,” said Lancaster.

One of the main obstacles was COVID-19, but Bushland High School has overcome that by participating in several different community outreach programs. Some programs include working with the Daughters of the American Revolutionary War to create Christmas stockings that will be given out to Lamar Middle School students.

They also participate in the “Be A Friend” project in which they write letters of encouragement to kids who are bullied.

“We wrote to a boy named Aiden and a boy named Alejandro and sent those just to show that we have their back and that people do care. So that’s really neat to see that the youth are wanting to make the world a better place,” said Lancaster.

Lancaster also said that thanks to a partnership with Jo-Ann’s Fabric, the students will be handing out gloves, scarves, hats, and lunches to the homeless in December.